Friday, June 23, 2017

'Pence to pay tribute to anti-lgbtq group' & other Friday midday news briefs

Vice President Mike Pence Celebrates Pride by Speaking to an Anti-LGBT Group - The group in question is Focus on the Family, which has been very careful to evade the verbal and junk science traps which led SPLC to declare other groups like it to be hate groups. But it is still a vile group nonetheless. I'm this close to "looking for" those gay folks who said that the Trump Administration was going to be in our corner.

Lest You Forget, Focus on the Family Does Serious Damage to LGBTQ People - Or how Focus on the Family has been able to evade the label of "hate group" thus far. 

 Too Many Doctors Are Failing LGBTQ Patients. Medical Schools Want to Change That. - And this exacerbates health problems within the community which the religious right always exploit for their "homosexuality is a dangerous lifestyle" false narrative.

 Appeals court re-instates Mississippi's religious freedom law - Just in case you haven't heard. BUT there is a giant caveat. The court reinstated the law because since it's not yet in effect, the plantiffs couldn't show how it would damage them. A minor problem alleviated by putting the law into effect and allowing folks to use it.

Appeals Court Allows Worst Anti-LGBTQ Law Ever To Go Into Effect In Mississippi- More detail on the situation, including the MANY ways the law could derail itself by simply existing.

New documentary puts trans people on both sides of the camera - Wow! This is a really good idea.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Family Research Council upset over being labeled a hate group, but won't address reason why

Poor Family Research Council.

The organization is angry because Guidestar, a website which features information on charities, will now identify it as a hate group. Since Guidestar is using information from the Southern Poverty Law Center to make this determination, FRC has been busy smearing both organizations.

FRC president Tony Perkins claims that his group has gotten together a coalition of conservative groups to complain about what Guidestar is doing:

 . . .41 conservative groups and individuals are demanding that GuideStar remove the hate banners from their listings and return to their claimed position of neutrality that Americans expect. In a letter protesting the move, the signers write: 
 "Your designations are based on determinations made by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a hard-Left activist organization. As such, SPLC's aggressive political agenda pervades the construction of its 'hate group' listings." "The SPLC has no bona fides to make such determinations. It is not a governmental organization using rigorous criteria to create its lists, and it is not a scientifically-oriented organization. The SPLC is merely another 'progressive' political organization... The 'hate group' list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies. The list is ad hoc, partisan, and agenda-driven. The SPLC doesn't even pretend to identify groups on the political Left that engage in 'hate.' Mosques or Islamist groups that promote radical speech inciting anti-Semitism and actual violence are not listed by the SPLC even though many have been publicly identified after terrorist attacks."

FRC of course evades the big question - why does SPLC consider it to be a hate group. SPLC said the following in a 2012 article:

The FRC portrays gay people as sick, evil, perverted, incestuous and a danger to the nation. It insists that gay people are “fundamentally incapable” of providing good homes for children – a myth that has been rejected by all relevant scientific authorities. One of its key leaders has actually said that homosexual behavior should be criminalized. Perhaps the FRC’s most dangerous lie is its claim that pedophilia is a “homosexual problem,” to use Perkins’ words. Here’s what the American Psychological Association says: “Despite a common myth, homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.” The APA adds, “There is no scientific support for fears about children of lesbian or gay parents being sexually abused by their parents or their parents’ gay, lesbian or bisexual friends or acquaintances.” Linking the LGBT community to pedophilia is not an expression of a religious belief, as Perkins would have it. It’s simply a lie – and a particularly ugly one at that.

Then there was the time when FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg said he wishes gays could be exported out of America:

And let's not forget our friend Tony Perkins . . . and that time he linked lgbtqs to Satan:

Perkins and company can fake 'righteous indignation' all they want but they can never hide the paper trail of FRC's  deceptions against the lgbtq community.

'Trump's inaction on fighting AIDS gets negative attention' & other Thur midday news briefs

Trump’s HIV/AIDS inaction in focus after 6 advisers resign - Folks resigning is what it took to get the media to focus on Trump's inaction on AIDS.  

After outcry, an LGBT survey question is restored by HHS - You are DAMN right it's restored.

 Biden Tells LGBT Community: "Hold Trump Accountable For His Pledge To Be Your Friend" - I miss Joe Biden. 

 New Documentary Examines The Troubling Reason Conversion Therapy Won’t Go Away - Why folks talking about "heterosexism" need to sometimes sit their asses down. 
Jeff Sessions’ new Russiagate lawyer is just as horrible as you’d expect - A raging homophobe. Surprised? No? Me neither.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TBT - NOM's hilarious anti-marriage equality video 'The Gathering Storm'

The infamous 'Gathering Storm' video from a few years back via the for now toothless National Organization for Marriage is very enjoyable to watch in light of the fact that the lgbtq community attained the right to marry in spite of the deceit, spin, and gobs of money which went into keeping it from us. And it should serve to remind all of us during this time that victories aren't won easily, wars aren't over after single fights no matter whether you win or lose, and if you aren't ready the possibility of a long fight, you shouldn't be on the field in the first place. Winning isn't easy, but it's not supposed to be:

'Anti-gay Congressman's life saved during shooting last week by lesbian police officer' & other Wed midday news briefs

Capitol police officer Crystal Griner helped save Scalise's life during last week's shooting.

Rep. Steve Scalise’s Life Was Saved By A Black Queer Woman. Here’s Why That Matters. - As fervently as the right is attempting to paint last week's shooting as the act of "violent leftists," they are attempting to shut down discussion on the fact that during incident, Congressman Scalise's life was saved by a black queer woman, Crystal Griner. Sorry if you disagree, but folks on our side of the political spectrum need to dispense with any concern trolling about this fact.  That she was a part of his security detail  and took a bullet when he doesn't even support her right to marry is something I will not shut up about. Folks are so quick to brand us as "the other" out to destroy America but cry foul when we prove that we are just as capable as everyone else? Forget that #@!%

Queen Vows to Protect LGBT People from Discrimination, Axes Trump Visit in Speech to Parliament: WATCH - Well alright!  

Former Glee star comes out as transgender - I am happy for him. BE your authentic self.

  Living in the closet almost cost this NFL player his life. Coming out saved it. - Take it from me. The closet is HELL. 

Christians disagree with the religious right on refusing to serve LGBTQ people - The religious right does not speak for all Christians. 

Photo taken from Joe.MyGod

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Religious right 'wish list' under Trump moves America dangerously to theocracy

Tony Perkins and his group want to give churches more political power. That would be a disaster.

Via a recent fundraising email, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins laid out what he claims are the three issues which will "make or break religious liberty."

In reality, these issues are geared to giving conservative right-wing evangelicals an enormous amount of power in electing government officials  as well as curtailing the rights of the lgbtq community.

Perkins details and describes these issues as follows:

President Trump's executive order directs the IRS not to enforce guidelines on the Johnson Amendment, which has been used not only to block speech about candidates but about political issues that directly impact the free exercise of religious faith. But clearer guidelines are not enough. This amendment needs to be gutted by law if churches are to be free of government retribution for following God's Word.  
In conjunction with the EO clarification of IRS guidelines on the Johnson Amendment, the Free Speech Fairness Act must pass in order to "allow charitable organizations [including churches] to make statements relating to political campaigns if such statements are made in the ordinary course of carrying out its tax-exempt purpose." In other words, pastors would not be prohibited from speaking out about candidates who support such things as abortion...special privileges based on sexual preference and gender identity...and banning Christian clubs from meeting in public school buildings. 
Simply put, such an act would prevent the federal government from discriminating against those who follow biblical teachings that marriage is between one man and one woman. It would defend people such as Aaron and Melissa Klein and Barronelle Stutzman who are being prosecuted for declining to participate in same-sex weddings because of their Christian beliefs.

Don't let Perkins fool you with the claims that these issues have anything to do with liberty or freedom.

Trump's lawyer proves that homophobia, whining about so-called anti-Christian 'persecution' is very, very lucrative

Jay Sekulow
One of Donald Trump's attorney, Jay Sekulow, (and his organization, the American Center for Law and Justice) has a long history of homophobia and whining about the so-called persecution of Christians.

And it very, VERY lucrative to him and his family.

What Made Trump Hire Religious Right Lawyer Jay Sekulow?

 Sekulow and the  ACLJ have been active in the U.S. and overseas in opposing legal equality for LGBTQ people. Sekulow has said that the state has a “compelling interest to ban the act of homosexuality” and the ACLJ argued on behalf of state laws criminalizing gay sex that were overturned by the Supreme Court in 2003. Sekulow said the Supreme Court overturning the Defense of Marriage Act meant that “we’re now living in a monarchy.”

The ACLJ and its international affiliates engage in anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice culture wars in the U.S., Africa, Europe and Russia. In Africa, it worked to shape constitutional language in Zimbabwe, where it has fought to maintain criminalization of homosexuality, and Kenya, where it lobbied to eliminate an exemption to an abortion ban to save a woman’s life. Both the European Center for Jaw and Justice and the Slavic Center for Law and Justice supported Russia’s notorious anti-gay “propaganda” law, which has been used against journalists and gay rights activists.

Trump’s new conservative Christian lawyer Jay Sekulow is just another right-wing grifter

The ACLJ reported more than $19 million in contributions and grants for 2015, according to IRS filings, which also showed that Sekulow received no salary from the organization that year.
But the group transferred more than $5 million to the Washington law firm Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group, in which Sekulow owns a 50-percent stake, Bloomberg reported.
Sekulow also serves as president of the Georgia-based nonprofit Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, or CASE, which raised more than $52 million in 2015, according to IRS records.
Four of Sekulow’s family members — including his wife, Pam, and Gary Sekulow — serve as the board of directors for CASE, which transferred nearly $16 million to ACLJ and paid almost $1.2 million to businesses owned by Jay Sekulow.

An analysis by The Tennesseean newspaper found ACLJ and CASE had paid out more than $33 million between 1998 and 2011 to members of Sekulow’s family or to businesses they own.

I wonder how much Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, and the rest pull in.  Oh to be "persecuted" like that!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pregnant Transgender Male Soldiers - A religious right fear tactic coming soon!

From the religious right and anti-LGBTQ groups which brought you:

Marriage equality will corrupt the innocence of children

Gay men want to recruit children

And the recent transgender women are predators out to harm children

comes a new meme which will attack the right of transgender men and women to serve openly in the Armed Forces:

Pregnant Transgender Male Soldiers:

NOM's anti-marriage equality march is another disaster' & other Mon midday news briefs

The National Organization for Marriage has another sad march.

March For Marriage Draws Tens, But Promises Ultimate Victory Over Obergefell - The National Organization for Marriage held their annual "March for Marriage" last weekend. And it was a larger disaster than last year's 'Ben Hur' movie. Apparently there was only 50 people there. HOWEVER, and I say the following because our community has been known to celebrate victories too soon, there was an ominous statement made at the march which we should all remember and be prepared for:

Longtime NOM strategist Frank Schubert also addressed the rally, calling the Obergefell decision “anti-constitutional” and “illegitimate” and saying that “it will only take one new justice on the Supreme Court” to reverse it. 

 In other words, prepare ourselves should this situation of a right-wing SCOTUS judge coming. And start it now by fortifying our stance and our marriages. No one can take marriage away from us if we fight. But not expecting a fight is the surest way of losing one.

Here’s A Great Way To Explain The LGBTQ Rights Movement To Kids - Wonderful! I love this! 

Trump admin issues new Title IX memo for transgender kids - Don't even think that we aren't watching you, Ms. DeVos. 

 72 congressional Dems blast Trump for no Pride proclamation - Damn skippy!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Remembering LGBTQ of Color Trailblazers

Lately, there have been many heated discussions on situations regarding the inclusion of lgbtqs of color and our issues into the general view of the lgbtq community.

I won't mention those issues because I've deliberately kept them from this blog. This blog focuses on the external enemies of our community, Unfortunately, the figures and groups which threaten our rights don't get the attention and condemnation they deserve when we are focused on internal fights complete with folks beating each other over the head with academic catchphrases or insipid ideas of "unity."

I, however, will comment on the situation in my own way, which is to celebrate those who generally get left behind. Those below should have note in our community, our magazines, our media, and our circles at all times. They all may not emanate from popular circles or places like California or New York, and they may not fit the lgbtq status quo. But their existence and accomplishments says it all:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Second anti-gay hate group exploits shooting for payback against SPLC

The Family Research Council isn't the only religious right group exploiting Wednesday's shooting for political payback against the Southern Poverty Law Center. The American Family Association, another SPLC-designated hate group, is pointing a finger at the civil rights organization for yesterday's shooting:

"Hate" – it's an abstract word in the ongoing culture war, where you are branded as a "hater" by declaring that marriage is one man and one woman, or suggesting that illegal aliens are in the U.S. illegally. But after the near-massacre of Republican congressmen on a baseball field, can we agree that the shooter opened fire on them from a heart filled with hate?  
That his hatred for those with whom he disagreed could have resulted in a barrel-shooting slaughter of conservative lawmakers? OneNewsNow is familiar with the "hate" brand, since our parent organization is the American Family Association. AFA has been designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the same left-wing organization that was implicated when a shooter attempted to murder employees at the Family Research Council in 2012. That shooter told the FBI he used the SPLC's "hate map" to find an "anti-gay group" – a map that remains on the SPLC's website despite that botched mass shooting being stopped only by a security guard who was wounded.  
 The FRC shooting was largely ignored at the time, but it's much harder to ignore a gunman who opens fire on U.S. representatives after double-checking that he's about to kill Republicans. This week's shooting must change the left-wing rhetoric, starting with the SPLC, which was "liked" on the shooter's Facebook page. Democratic leaders routinely accuse their Republican colleagues of hating minorities, destroying the planet, and starving the poor ... and they must realize that some of their supporters believe those claims – even if it's just campaign fodder for Election Day.

The map AFA is talking about doesn't give out any addresses, only the state where the groups reside.

'See how the world celebrates LGBTQ Pride' & other Thur midday news briefs

See how the world celebrates Pride - You SIMPLY have to see this for yourself. How the world celebrates lgbtq pride is a reminder that we are a multi-ethnic, multi-aged, international community. And we should start treating each other as such. Our diversity is rich and as deep as our history.  

Jesse Lee Peterson: Pride Month Proves That ‘We Are All Not Children Of God’ - Poor baby. He will have to get over his angry because he has NO say in who is or isn't a 'child of God.'  

Transgender Teachers Talk About Their Experiences At School - Fascinating article. It always amazes me when the anti-lgbtq right claims that our community will harm children when there is proof all around that this notion is a lie. 

Catholics Should Accept and Love All LGBTQ People - Yes they should. Wonderful piece by a Jesuit priest of rejects the lies that religion and the lgbtq community should be opposite camps. We overlap all of the time. And it is my faith which helped me accept myself as a gay man. 

 22 Marriage Proposals That Will Make You Believe In True Love - Sappy and sentimental, yes. But why not?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Family Research Council exploits shooting for sleazy attack on Obama and SPLC

The Family Research Council pointed a finger to Obama for today's tragedy/

In light of this morning's terrible shooting, a lot of issues need to be up for discussion, from political affiliation, to nasty rhetoric, to gun control (which does not get talked about enough when these incidents take place.) But what doesn't need to happen is for anyone to exploit this morning's events for potshots and payback.

I wish someone would have told this to the Family Research Council:

Early reports are that Congressman Scalise is in critical condition after undergoing surgery earlier today. As his office said, "He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues." But it was a sobering reminder of the days in which we live. Every generation has its differences, but America is experiencing time of sustained hostility. The cloud of vitriol that grew under Barack Obama has so poisoned our dialogue that it may have once again driven a man to target innocent people -- this time public servants whose only crime was gearing up for one of the few moments of comradery and bipartisanship left in the city. Late this afternoon, the media confirmed that in addition to his anti-Trump rants, this gunman had liked the Southern Poverty Law Center's page on Facebook, the same organization tied to domestic terrorism in federal court for inspiring the shooting at FRC. This is where the path of intolerance can lead. And in a country spewing inflamed rhetoric from Broadway to the Beltway, it's time for reasonable people to step in and say, "enough."

What's the deal with the semantic attack on Obama, i.e. the ever so slight dog whistle that FRC supporters will pick up on?  Neither Obama nor his presidency had anything to do with today's events, except - if you really want to go there - how his opponents ran  over all levels of decency and decorum to make him look like a sepia Damien Thorne from "The Omen" trilogy.

'KKK fails to upstage Alabama Pride event' & other Wed midday news briefs

The KKK unsuccessfully tried to upstage an Alabama Pride event.

KKK members protest LGBTQ pride march in Florence: Hate 'reared its ugly head'- Some members of Alabama's lgbtq community attend their first pride and who shows up? The Klan. If this were a Mel Brooks movie, hilarity would have ensued. In reality though, nothing happened and the pride was a huge success. In addition, the lgbtq community made a positive out of this negative with a donation site. 

Are You The Husband Or The Wife? - OMG! I used to get asked that question in college regarding sex. If there was a wife, I wouldn't be gay.  

Rep. Maloney introduces data collection bill on anti-LGBT violence - Wonderful!  

AMA approves resolution against anti-trans bathroom bills - Good job, AMA! 

Chadwick Moore: LGBTQ People ‘Don’t Know What The Second Amendment Is” - Lawd, hammercy! One of those 'Queer As Folk' rejects.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

GuideStar will now point out hate groups in charity data, including anti-lgbtq hate groups

Allow  me to warn you now about the possible firestorm which will occur regarding religious right groups and the anti-lgbtq hate group label many of them deservedly earned from the Southern Poverty Law Center:

A website that touts itself as the world's largest source of information about charities has added a new feature: a warning label on tax-exempt nonprofits accused of spreading hate.

GuideStar, a self-described "neutral" repository for data on more than 2 million charities, recently flagged 46 nonprofits for being labeled as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. A banner atop each nonprofit's GuideStar profile includes the law center's logo and a link to its home page. GuideStar's president and CEO, Jacob Harold, said the new feature reflects a "broader shift in how we imagine our role in the (nonprofit) field." Adding new data sources is part of that shift, but Harold also framed the warning labels as a response to the recent rise in "hateful rhetoric" in the U.S.

 . . . Several leaders of flagged groups said they will contact GuideStar and demand the removal of the banners from their profiles. Some of the groups have accused the Alabama-based law center of using its hate group label to smear organizations that don't share its ideology by lumping them in with overtly hateful groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan.

I think you can guess where I'm going with this:

 The list also includes several organizations with multimillion-dollar budgets, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.

Harold said GuideStar relied on the law center's list and didn't conduct its own analysis of whether a nonprofit deserves to be labeled a hate group.
"But we are making a judgment to trust that third party," he said. "We feel that's quite defensible."

No doubt, two groups in particular, the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, will whine about how they are  being "persecuted" for their supposed Christian stances on homosexuality and will use their supporters and contacts (which includes members of Congress) to smear GuideStar.

'Conservative snowflake calls Equality March 'crybaby fest'' & other Tue midday news briefs

'Wannabe' Tomi Lahren gets 'twitter dragged.'
Twitter Schools Tomi Lahren After She Calls LGBTQ March ‘Crybaby Fest Of Bulls**t’ - Some folks will say we should ignore wannabe conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren. Do what you feel, but don't ignore what she represents - the deliberate ignorance of folks who will disrespect us, our families, and children while claiming that they don't know what we are angry or concerned about. As we vigorously debate with each other - quite legitimately so - regarding voices, visibility, and other issues in our community, we should do it with the knowledge of just who our real enemies are. In doing so, we should approach each other with a bit more civility, saving our negative intensity for those who would deny us our equality and others, such as Lahren, who see it happening but pretend that it's not.

LGBTQ Muslims have always existed, and we deserve to tell our own stories - AMEN!  

Jared Polis announces bid to become Colorado governor - First openly gay governor of Colorado? I'm all for it!  

Finding ‘Mr Gay Syria’: New Film Highlights Abuse of LGBTQ Syrians - Remember that our fight is worldwide. 

LGBT Trump Supporters Dismayed Over Pride Marches Becoming 'Resist' Events - Sorry LGBT Trump supporters. You aren't going to win me over and you aren't going to win with this one at all.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hate group upset that the Pentagon is recognizing LGBTQ Pride Month

Anti-lgbtq hate group The Family Research Council  is pitching a fit because the Pentagon has the temerity to recognize LGBTQ Pride Month:

The problem at the U.S. Embassy in Romania wasn't that officials were saluting the flag. The problem was which flag they were saluting. In a tradition most Americans hoped was gone with President Obama, a handful of U.S. diplomats decided to fly the rainbow flag on par with the stars and stripes that millions have died defending. 
The jarring sight in Guatemala, Cuba, Macedonia, the Dominican Republican, and other countries was just more evidence of the politically correct mess left behind by the last administration. Although President Trump refused to declare June LGBT pride month, plenty of Obama holdovers are taking matters into their own hands. Out of respect for the voters who rejected that extreme agenda, it's time for administration officials to step in and put a stop to a display that puts a sexual fringe on the same pole as Old Glory. 
And unfortunately, the State Department isn't the only agency bucking the White House's values this June. Today, the Pentagon carried on a tradition President Obama began in 2012, holding a special "pride" event at the same time that other military leaders are ready to turn the page on eight years of social engineering. It was a disappointing development for conservatives, who thought they had an ally in new Defense Secretary James Mattis. FRC's Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) was vocal about his displeasure. "I was hoping that the Trump administration would put less emphasis on everything that does not contribute directly to enhanced readiness and war fighting." 
Leaders of the Conservative Action Project echoed General Boykin's frustrations. In a letter signed by dozens of organizations, the group calls on the White House to intervene. "The Trump administration should discontinue funding and directing personnel resources for special-interest events, including LGBT-Pride Month events in June, which do not strengthen military readiness... We will support officials and initiatives taken to end politically-correct social agendas, and look forward to more changes that will strengthen the armed forces and restore America's military readiness." The Obama administration worked from Kenya to El Salvador – not to advance his country's priorities –but the 44th president's radical social agenda. It's time for Donald Trump to take a wrecking ball to the LGBT distractions of his predecessor and turn the page on policies that offend more people than they "honor."

Check yourself, Family Research Council.  LGBTQ soldiers are among those millions whose deaths you alluded to. Furthermore, they continue, along with other members of the Armed Forces, to fight for your freedom. The least you can do is show them the respect they deserve. If you can't do even that, then step to the side.

Generally speaking, however, situations like this sends a reminder to us all that groups like the Family Research Council have nothing to do with morality and values. They are all about homophobia and rendering the lgbtq community invisible and second class citizens, no matter what we do. Even if  that includes sacrificing life and limb to preserve their freedom.

'Equality March a coast-to-coast success' & other Mon midday news briefs

A gay social network is calling out the Family Research Council. See article below.

D.C. Equality March Makes Pride Political - The Equality March yesterday was a HUGE success. 

From Coast to Coast, LGBT Protesters Vow Resistance to Trump - And it wasn't just in Washington, either.  

Looking back to the Pulse shooting through the eyes of a queer black Muslim - Because we have so much to fight against and FOR.  

Gay Couples Fight To Be Included On Birth Certificates - "Lesbian couples in Indiana and Arkansas that have used artificial insemination say they should be treated like heterosexual couples on birth certificates, with both the biological mother and her spouse listed as parents."

Hornet Is Going After Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups in New National Billboard Campaign - Wow! I LOVE this. This type of thing is what we should be doing on a community wide scale. My only complaint is that it shouldn't be gay social network doing this. We all need to be calling these groups out and DEMANDING a debate on their tactics, instead of having to explain our lives. For a change.

Pulse - One Year Later

A year ago, a person walked into the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL while it was celebrating Latin Night and, before the night was over, turned everyone's lives upside down. This person doesn't deserve to be named as we note this sad event and the lives stolen and altered because of it.

While I was not there, the tragedy had such a negative effect on me that for a brief time, I felt I could not pray. That was nothing compared to what it did to the families of those taken from us.

It's difficult to find any solace in this situation, but there is at least one bright spot.That awful individual took away so much, but he couldn't take away love. The love of those taken away from the people who miss them daily. The love of survivors who live their lives to the fullest after the tragedy  Most of all, the love in each of our hearts which doesn't allow us to give in to the pull of hatred like he did.

Friday, June 09, 2017

'Right-wing 'Christian' groups praised Trump while Comey proved him to be a liar' & other Fri midday news briefs

Right-wing 'Christian' groups have abandoned Jesus for Trump and power.

While Comey Calls Him A Liar, Trump Basks in Religious Right’s Adulation - It's bad enough that these supposed Christians and voices of morality praise Trump in spite of his specious behavior as president, but doing it WHILE testimony is happening calling him a liar and a hideous moral example of presidential behavior is beyond the pale. And I haven't even mentioned the news article earlier this week which said he put money raised to fight cancer in children into his own pocket. We CANNOT be blase about this no matter how difficult it is not to. 

The United Methodist Church has appointed a transgender deacon - Because not all people of faith are totally without morality.

 Conservative student wants court to change her grade from F to A after she refused to read gay poets - How long before she hooks up with the Liberty Counsel and declare herself a victim of the supposed "gay agenda?" 

 LGBTQ Wellness: It’s All About The Data - Because the numbers means knowledge and knowledge leads to us getting the services we need. 

Photo taken from Daily Kos.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Why there is still a need for Black LGBTQ Pride events - An audio exercise

Via the past couple of years, hardly two consecutive months go by in which I don't hear the same tired diatribes from at least one white lgbtq or ally:

Why do you feel there is a need for a black pride? 
We should all be together? 
Why are you separating yourselves?

I always find it curious how defensive some get about this sort of thing, even after you attempt to explain that not all lgbtq communities have the same cultural indicators, or that black prides doesn't mean that lgbtqs of color are separating ourselves, or yes (for the thousandth time) if you are not black, you can still attend and have fun.

So allow me to explain the need for Black LGBTQ Pride events in another way. And I am going to enlist the help of Shahrazad Ali.

Ali considers herself a teacher and a scholar. She has written extensively on relationships between black heterosexual couples (The Black man's Guide to Understanding the Black Woman), racism (Are You Still a Slave?), and gay/bisexual  men (How To Tell If Your man is Gay or Bisexual). She has also appeared on many radio programs and talk shows.

It's a shame that she is a loudmouth black militant kook who wouldn't know anything about the subjects she writes about and speaks on even if they suddenly took life and bit her on the butt.

For example, this is her talking about same sex couples raising children. For those who are into that sort of thing, massive trigger warnings here:

Told you she was a kook. But here is what you really need to know.

White lgbtqs can laugh her off because they know she is, shall we say, a bit unknowledgable regarding same sex families. And they have enough support in their facet of the community who is willing to tell her to stuff it. But what lgbts of color? Who will take our side in the black community when she speaks this nonsense? Definitely not white lgbtqs. She can easily turn your racial heritage against you by claiming that you are proving her point that white folks are using homosexuality to weaken the black community.

 Ali has to be challenged and condemned by lgbts of color. We are the ones she hurts the most by her rhetoric and we are the ones who need to verbally drag her for her bull in front of the entire black community. And not just her, but others in the black community who will try to stigmatize us, whether it be on talk shows, radio shows, and yes even in the pulpits. But how can we if we have no sense of pride in ourselves as lgbtqs of color. How can we stand up for ourselves in the black community and defeat the illusion that we are "tools of the white man?"

What I'm talking about is a specific designation of lgbts of color who are open and proud members of the black community as such, will not be disrespected by our own people. That's why Black Pride events are important. It gives lgbts of color a space to recognize who we are specifically and how we add to the richness of both the lgbtq and black communities. These events gives us a chance to  reflect upon our past as well as celebrate the customs and rituals of our present.  And it gives us the will that we need to openly challenge people like Ali when they attempt to distort the conversation about our lives.

 Black Pride is a physical, psychological, and spiritual experience which builds lgbts of color up as a community and as leaders. It gives us the strength to remind everyone that we will not altered or dissected to suit their needs.

We are lgbtq and we are black.

You take us on both scores or you go away. We aren't going anywhere.

'Trump to speak at anti-gay conference during Pride Month' & other Thur midday news briefs

'Friend of the gays' Trump will be speaking at anti-gay conference during Pride Month.

Editor's note - With all of the attention on the Comey hearing today (which I hear is more explosive than a season finale of Dynasty, Dallas, and Falcon's Crest), I will still attempt to bring news briefs for the times when folks need a respite from the wildness:

Trump to speak at anti-gay conference during Pride Month - I think Trump has bigger problems right now but should he hobble his way to this event, I will definitely enjoy watching and blogging about the irony of it all. 

LGBTQ+ Parents in Russia Share Photos to Show Their Families Matter - Our lgbtq brothers and sisters in Russia are going through it right now. Let's keep them in our hearts and prayers.

Are government agencies sidestepping Trump’s reluctance to recognize pride month? - Yep! 

 How the Alt-Right Is Using Sex and Camp to Attract Gay Men to Fascism - DO NOT fall for this. I repeat - if you fall for this, I will personally jump down your throats and stomp your livers.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

10 Best Celebrity Quotes on LGBT Equality

A while back, there was a Friday afternoon segment on this blog, Know Your LGBT History, which looked at portrayals (both positive and negative) of lgbts in movies and television. It also looked at famous lgbts in history such as Bessie Smith, Nell Carter, and Clara Ward.

In 2014, I ran the last segment, My Top Five LGBT Villains in Cinema, However some folks have been asking me to bring it back. I may do it, depending on how this particular post does.

The following, courtesy of "LGBT Top List" on youtube is the 10 Best Celebrity Quotes on LGBT Equality. See if you agree with the choices:

'28 photos of children at Pride parades dispenses stereotypes, shows what's important' & other Wed. midday news briefs

The Huffington Post gives us 28 reasons why Pride is important

28 Photos Of Kids At Pride Parades Who Know That Love Is Love - Twenty-eight reasons to enjoy Pride. Twenty-eight reasons to not to believe the stereotypes about Pride because not all Pride celebrations are the same. Twenty-eight reasons to remind yourself that LGBTQ lives and futures belong to the community. Not to others to decide who we are and what those futures will be.

America’s Hidden H.I.V. Epidemic - "Why do America’s black gay and bisexual men have a higher H.I.V. rate than any country in the world?" Probably because we are being missed and are isolated from the community at large. This is one of the reasons things like Black Pride events are SO important.

 LGBTQ Organizations, Gay Rights Veterans and a Gay Dad are Leading the Fight for Gun Control - Our community are comprised of leaders in all issues.

Gov. Brown signs landmark transgender equality bill - This happened last week in Oregon. I apologize for missing it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Education Sec DeVos again turns her back on LGBTQ children & families

During a Congressional hearing in May, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos indicated that she had no problem funding schools who would discriminate against LGBTQ families and children. At the time, I accused her of "weaseling" out of questions by invoking the word "flexibility." This what happened.

From The Huffington Post:

 Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Wednesday that states should have the flexibility to decide whether schools can discriminate against LGBTQ students ― even if those schools get federal money. During a testy exchange in a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) told DeVos about Lighthouse Christian Academy, a private school in Indiana that receives state voucher money but denies admission to students from families where there is “homosexual or bisexual activity” or someone “practicing alternate gender identity.” Clark asked DeVos, whose budget seeks a $250 million increase for projects that include vouchers for private schools, if she would step in if that Indiana school applied for such federal funding. DeVos replied by saying she supports giving flexibility to states. “For states who have programs that allow for parents to make choices, they set up the rules around that,” she said.

Today, she made what can be called an unfortunate 180 degree turn when it comes to protecting LGBTQ families and children. She pretty much said that it is not her department's job to protect them from discrimination. And again, she "weaseled" out when asked a direct question about it:

From Think Progress:
During Tuesday’s hearing, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) asked DeVos about whether or not her department would continue to provide federal funding to schools that had anti-LGBTQ policies. At first she tried to dodge the question by asserting, “Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law.” But Merkley pressed, leading DeVos to say, “In areas where the law is unsettled, this department is not going to be issuing decrees. That is a matter for Congress and the courts to settle.”

Merkley continued to grill for DeVos for clarification, but she refused to comply. “You’re refusing to answer the question,” he said. “I think that’s very important for the public to know — that today, the Secretary of Education, before this committee, refused to affirm that she would put forward a program that would ban discrimination based on the LGBTQ status of students or ban discrimination based on religion.”

No doubt, some will say that DeVos answered the question.

No she didn't.

The question she was answered in May and the one today required a simple yes or no. Why did DeVos have to dance around in giving her answer? I'll let you decide.

'Some trans people still feel excluded at Pride' & other Tue midday news briefs

Nearly 50 years after Stonewall, trans people still feel excluded at Pride - Not just transgender folks probably feel this way. I think this is a symptom of a larger problem in our community in terms of visibility and who gets anointed as leaders and spokespeople. But let's just keep it at Pride for the moment.  Pride is a wonderful event for all and it's grown in so many different areas. With the growth comes debates involving concepts of pride, sponsorship, entertainment, etc. Personally, I don't feel there is anything wrong with intelligent debates about what exactly is Pride and what it should be. We need to listen to each other in the spirit of cooperation.  I have definite opinions on the matters but feel that when it all comes down to it, Pride should be something which gives us all joy, love, and motivation to make this world a better place - and not just for those in our "circle." We keep that belief in mind and we can get through the debates.

 HIV long-term survivors fight invisibility and isolation - Wonderful article. Never forget.

 Laverne Cox speaks out against people who don’t see transgender women as real women - Take them to school, Laverne!!!!

Coming Out: The Pros and Cons - Never forget our personal stories. 

20 Perfect Tweets That Sum Up Watching "Wonder Woman" As A Queer Woman - THIS is hilarious! 

Photo taken from

Monday, June 05, 2017

So-called Christian groups exploit transgender boy's suicide for foul attack on community

What you are about to read is disgusting. I didn't even want to write anything about it but I felt something needs to be said because this is the lowest I have ever seen the religious right stoop in my over 10 years of tracking their lies and hate.

From The Family Research Council:

 Gender Distortion and Tragedy 
 Erin Georgia had prayed for a son all her life. She says she got one, but not in the way she expected. When her sixth- grade daughter came to her and said she was struggling with her identity, Erin and her husband, Matt, said their first stop was the psychologist. Eventually, the Alabama couple decided the best decision would be to let Jane Marie start living as Jay. "We've always just loved and accepted our children for whoever they are. I'm a very outspoken, tattooed Christian, very strong in my faith. We were just encouraging Jay."

That encouragement ended in absolute heartbreak last month, when Jane took her own life at their home. Now, absolutely devastated, her parents -- both Marine veterans -- struggle to understand what went wrong. After all, Jane was part of group therapy and started taking medication to help her cope. But in the end, it wasn't enough, the Georgias believe. "Jay was not ready to come out to the world in the sixth grade. Jay wasn't really ready at the end." For her parents, who only wanted the best for their daughter, it was a blow no one saw coming. "As Jay was going through this journey, he would go to church with us. The church was welcoming, but there was no safe space."

'Hate group continues ugly smear against lesbian teacher' & other Mon midday news briefs

Liberty Counsel Continues Its Crusade Against Pro-LGBTQ Florida Teacher - Anti-lgbtq hate group The Liberty Counsel has found a new crusade and it's really beginning to bug me. The organization has been targeting this teacher since May. They've accused her of "bullying" Christian students and "indoctrinating" other students in the so-called homosexual agenda - charges which were shown to be nothing when the school district investigated. But the organization won't stop. THIS is the very definition of bullying.

Related posts:

Anti-lgbtq right conveniently quiet after exoneration of teacher they targeted

Anti-lgbtq hate group continues to target exonerated high school teacher 

In other news:
Planet Fitness isn’t violating privacy by welcoming transgender members, Michigan court rules - A recent court decision just dealt a blow to the "transgender predator" myth.

 John McEnroe Rips Tennis Bigot Margaret Court in Salty, Delicious Denunciation: WATCH - Just imagine how homophobic someone has to be to get me the cheer John McEnroe for giving them a good "read."

 ‘Our Bible’ app aims to support LGBTQ Christians who feel excluded - Yet of a reminder that the "Gays vs. Christians" nonsense is a fictional war propagated by people (hello Franklin Graham) and organizations (the Liberty Counsel) more interested in attaining power than not pushing people away from God. Great discussion in the comments section with the usual cast of characters.

Government branches acknowledging LGBTQ Pride Month in spite of Trump

Even though Trump failed to recognize June as LGBTQ Pride Month, other branches of the federal government are not following his lead.

The Defense Department for one:

The Defense Department is observing June as LBBT Pride Month to recognize DoD's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members and civilians. DoD Pride, an employee resource group, is hosting its annual celebration June 12 at the Pentagon. "The struggles, sacrifices and successes among the LGBT community continue to shape our history and remind us to uphold tolerance and justice for all," Anthony M. Kurta wrote in a memo announcing the observance today. Kurta is performing the duties of the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. "Integrity and respect are fundamental qualities of our military and civilian culture," Kurta noted in the memo. "As we celebrate the diversity of the total force, we honor all who have answered the call to serve, and their unwavering commitment to our shared mission," he wrote. "During the month of June, let us celebrate the diversity of the DoD workforce and rededicate ourselves to equity, dignity and respect for all."

And then there is the State Department:

A State Department spokesperson on Friday said embassies and consulates have received guidance that allows them to recognize Pride month. 
 “Advancing the human rights of vulnerable groups including LGBTI persons is a core component of U.S. foreign policy,” the spokesperson told the Washington Blade. “All people should be protected from discrimination and violence, and must be allowed to exercise their human rights, including their rights to the freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and religion or belief.” “LGBTI Pride celebrations are an expression of these rights,” added the spokesperson. 
 ”As such, the department has issued guidance to embassies and consulates allowing them to, as appropriate to their local context, recognize LGBTI Pride Month.” The rainbow flag was raised over the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic on Friday. 
“So incredibly proud of U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo for raising the Pride flag today,” wrote former U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James “Wally” Brewster on his Facebook page.  
The U.S. Embassies in Chile and Mexico in recent days have also publicly acknowledged Pride month. The rainbow flag flew over the U.S. Embassy in Cuba on May 17 in commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

So while it's disappointing that Trump is ignoring our month, we will just have to do what these departments have done - just move him to the side and not allow his actions to steal our joy

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Family Research Council doesn't think 'Christians' should have to follow the law

Editor's note - Friday's midday news briefs may be pre-empted.

 And just like that, the religious right has another so-called victim of marriage equality persecution.

According to anti-lgbtq hate group the Family Research Council:

In another astounding case of intolerance, Country Mill Orchards was kicked out of the sellers group last August when city officials got wind of the couple’s biblical views on marriage. After seven years of hosting one of the most popular stalls at the market, they’ve been pushed out because they dared to agree with 53 percent of the American people! Of course, the irony is, the Tenneses never mentioned marriage at the market -- this was all the result of a Facebook fishing expedition from a potential wedding client.

When two women asked to be married on the farm in 2014, the Tennes turned them down, explaining that because of their faith, they referred same-sex couples to neighboring farms. Two years later, the couple decided to launch a social media smear campaign, urging people to stay away from Country Mill. When their post was brought to East Lansing’s attention, local leaders raced to pass an ordinance directly targeting small business owners like the Tenneses. In a press conference this week, Steve could only shake his head at the strong-arm tactics of the Left. “East Lansing [had] posted on their Facebook page: ‘We love the Country Mill.’ That came to an abrupt end that same August [when the family went public with their views]. Because of our beliefs,” Steve went on, “the city of East Lansing strongly and immediately pressured us not to return to the farmers market that very weekend. Ultimately, the city developed a new policy to target and block our farm from further participation in their city-run farmers market.”

And here’s the kicker: the Tenneses not only serve people who identify as LGBT -- they employ them! But that’s not enough for the extreme Left, who will accept nothing less than the full and complete surrender of every Christian’s First Amendment rights. As Steve pointed out, “Our faith and beliefs on marriage and hosting weddings at our home and in our backyard of our farm have nothing to do with the city of East Lansing. Nor does it have anything to do with the produce that we sell to the people that attend the farmers markets who are from all backgrounds and all beliefs.”

The attack on the Tenneses is especially upsetting since both Steve and Bridget are military veterans, and they -- more than anyone -- know the price of freedom. “We were surprised, and we were shocked,” Steve told Fox News’s Todd Starnes. “My wife and I both volunteered to serve in the military to protect freedom. Now we come home and the freedom that we worked to protect, we have to defend in our own backyard.”

Now, the veterans are fighting a new battle to keep this same harassment from happening to other Americans. Together with Alliance Defending Freedom, the family is taking East Lansing to court, demanding their reinstatement in the local market. “We have to stand up for what’s right and be able to speak freely about our beliefs,” Steve said determinedly. “And to live out our own beliefs at our own home on our own farm.”

To paraphrase Thelma Ritter from 'All About Eve,' it's a good story . . including the part about the hounds snapping at their rear ends.

'Trump doesn't acknowledge LGBTQ Pride Month' & other Thur midday news briefs

'Friend to the gays,' my tookis!

Trump breaks tradition of recognizing LGBTQ Pride Month - Surprise, surprise! The self-proclaimed friend to the gays doesn't acknowledge LGBTQ Pride Month. I bet you miss Obama now seeing that he did. Don't be blase about this LATEST slap in the face Trump has given the lgbtq community. Just take it as more incentive to dismantle his presidency bit by ugly bit, starting in 2018 (that is IF he is still president by then).

 Rhode Island House Votes to Ban Harmful Gay ‘Conversion Therapy’ - Go Rhode Island!

Anti-LGBT Posters Found at Eastern Alamance High School - In North Carolina, no less. Hehehe! If folks want to put up posters of Biblical incidents (like in this case the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah), they should REALLY be careful. Lots of interesting things to choose from.

 These Two Univ. of Minnesota Teammates Open Up About Falling In Love - This is SOOOO CUTE!!! 

Martina Navratilova Slams Margaret Court In Open Letter - There is a serious drama going on regarding former tennis champion Margaret Court. She is extremely ugly to the lgbtq community and playing the "I'm being persecuted" card while doing it. Another former tennis champion and present lesbian icon Martina Navratilova simply isn't having any of it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hate group (The Liberty Counsel) doesn't actually believe in religious liberty

Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel
Anti-lgbtq hate group The Liberty Counsel has made a name for itself via defending individuals like Kim Davis and others it claims are victims of religious persecution.  The organization would like for people to believe that it does these things because it stands for the so-called concept of religious liberty.

However, recent statements by the group regarding a church in Florida raises questions as to just whose religious liberty is the Liberty Counsel interested in preserving.

From the American Family Association's fake online news service, One News Now:

Northland Community Church in Orlando recently hosted the event, which was titled: "Elevating the Dialogue on LGBTQ Inclusion and Understanding of the Church." It was sponsored by The Reformation Project, founded by Mathew Vines, author of the book God and the Gay Christian. Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland Community Church, told Charisma News his church hasn't wavered on the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. But he said he invited Vines "because his organization helps churches – including churches that do not agree with him – have a conversation to increase understanding between the two normally adversarial groups." Hunter also told The Orlando Sentinel: "It's not about our church's position about homosexuality. It's about how we treat each other when we're different in our perspectives."

And here is where the Liberty Counsel comes in the conversation:

However, a litigation, education and policy organization based in Orlando has some concerns about the event. Roger Gannam is assistant vice president for legal affairs for Liberty Counsel. 
"It's one thing to host a conversation, a panel discussion, or a debate where different sides of an issue are presented," says Gannam. "But for a church to invite into its walls an organization led by a man who espouses basically heresy – something that is not biblical at all – it's very disappointing and it's very alarming." 
The founder of Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver, believes Pastor Hunter has fallen into a trap. "For him to host that pro-LGBT event is heresy," he adds. 
Liberty Counsel argues that the purpose of the event was to "distort the Bible and change theology in order to affirm an alternate sexual lifestyle as normative."

And there you have it. Under the guise of religious liberty, the Liberty Counsel will defend a government employee (Kim Davis) who discriminates against same-sex couples even though her salary in part is paid by their tax dollars.

Then the organization will make a 180 degree turn to criticize a church for having a simple dialogue about lgbtq issues.

Apparently the Liberty Counsel is more interested in preserving the religious liberty of those who would treat the lgbtq community as second class citizens rather than those who would treat us as human beings.

'VP Pence to speak at conference hosted by pastor who called gay equality 'demonic' ' & other Wed midday news briefs

Mike Pence To Speak At Conference Hosted By Radical Pastor John Hagee - VP Mike Pence will be speaking at a conference hosted by John Hagee, a guy who once said "that God sent Adolf Hitler to the world in order to be a “hunter” of Jews, advancing a divinely inspired plan to push Jews back to the land of Israel."  And of course Hagee is also homophobic. 

Cases in point:

AND my favorite:

Okay the following is also my favorite. Just go on youtube and google "John Hagee" and "homosexuality." It's a like a smorgasbord of homophobia:

Pence will practically LOVE it there at his conference.

 In other news: 

 Appeals court smacks down Wisconsin school’s anti-transgender discrimination - THIS happened yesterday. Sweet!!! 

 Russian retail chain puts up anti-gay ‘no entry for f*ggots’ sign - In Russia, of course. Ugh! 

18 Types Of People That Make Queer People Say "Oh Boy" - Probably controversial? Yes. Hilarious? HELL yes!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

'It Gets Better' disputed, religious right overdoes celebration

Dan Savage
Dan Savage's monumental "It Gets Better" campaign recently fell under scrutiny via a study which questions its effectiveness.

According to LOGO Newnownext:

The It Gets Better projects was launched by Dan Savage and Terry Miller in 2010, in response to a chilling number of suicides by LGBT teens facing bullying. Sine then, it’s added more than 50,000 videos from people of all walks of life.

But a new study suggests imagining a better future may not be an ideal coping mechanism for struggling teens—and may, in fact, do more harm than good. University of Arizona professor Russell Toomey and his team examined profiles of 245 lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) young adults to see how they coped with sexual-minority stress during adolescence. Three common strategies emerged: Cognitive strategies (the “It Gets Better” approach), alternative-seeking strategies (changing social circles or schools), and “LGB-specific” strategies (joining a gay-straight alliance). Young people who sought out LGB-specific strategies reported better psychosocial adjustment and were more likely to graduate high school. Cognitive and alternative-seeking strategies were associated with poorer adjustment, higher incidents of depression and lower self-esteem. Alternative-seeking strategies were even linked to lower likelihood of finishing high school. “Our findings question the ’It Gets Better’ narrative that’s been given to LGB youth,” said Toomey. “Asking youth to accept negative experiences as the only coping strategy potentially exacerbates stress.” 

 Personally,I think the study's premise presents an inaccurately simplistic view of the 'It Gets Better"  campaign. Regardless, it is a fascinating twist which will no doubt lead to debates, arguments, and unfortunately, groups and individuals who will  exploit the study to push their own anti-lgbtq agenda.

'LGBTQ community faces 'invisible' summer movie season' & other Tue midday news briefs

LGBTQ Community Faces An ‘Invisible’ Hollywood Summer Movie Season - Well this kinda sucks. Granted, we are probably being saved as Oscar bait pics, but I wouldn't mind seeing an action picture with a gay guy. Preferably black and wearing leather and knowing karate and holding a big gun in a few scenes . . . 

Anti-transgender legislation is still a threat as Texas considers a special session - A special session? For THAT mess? 

 Tank slammed online for performing at D.C. Gay Pride event - If this was a white artist, there would be more controversy over him receiving criticism. 

 Gay issues discussed at meeting of France and Russia’s leaders - Since a certain American leader didn't talk about it, France had to take up the slack. "Freedom fries," my ass! 

 32 Things Gay Asian Men Are Really Tired Of Hearing - Yes lawd!